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Edition Seven – 2021


– Frances and Peter Bender –

35 years of Huon Aquaculture In 2021, we mark 35 years of Huon Aquaculture, founded in 1986 by the Bender family. We talked to Peter and Frances Bender to look back at how it all began, the highs and the lows, and what the next 35 years holds for Huon. For Peter and Frances Bender, getting into aquaculture took a leap of faith, a generous helping of optimism, and the naivety of youth. “Everyone knows the story: we started out with one employee, a dinghy and a single pen of fish, being fed by hand, at Hideaway Bay. What is often forgotten is that salmon farming literally started from nothing in Tasmania,” said Frances. Just take a moment to digest that statement— a Tasmanian industry, which is now worth $1 billion, did not exist 35 years ago and Peter and Frances are the only remaining original salmon farmers still operating.


The Bender family started Huon as a diversification from the family cattle and sheep farming business, to supplement income from running a little local butcher’s shop, and what was Tasmania’s largest (and first) trellised apricot orchard.

– “We were always independent minded. We thought if we could make a go of it, we may be able to buy the family farm and be masters of our own destiny and live happily ever after…. little did we know … we were so naïve and so innocent,” reflected Frances. –

In 1994, Peter and Frances purchased Huon from the family group and became contract growers, selling their fish to other companies. In 2002, they began marketing their salmon under the ‘Huon Salmon’ brand, at the same time, they invested in new harvesting capabilities and infrastructure. While stepping out from the contractgrowing model in 2005 was a big move in itself, the real challenge was teaching people how to eat salmon. “Most people’s first encounter with salmon some odd 40 years ago was the mushy imported type in tins. We had to educate customers on how to cook salmon— something that we are still doing to this day,” said Frances. “I’ve always preferred to be hands-on and my favourite hands-on work is eating the beautiful fish that we grow. Some people don’t believe that I will eat Huon Salmon three meals a day. If only the average customer ate it as much as I do!” said Peter.

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Seven


Anyone who knows Peter will characterise him as a tinkerer. He has always taken joy in inventing farming equipment and while this was often done because there was no other choice, he still relishes the opportunity to have his two cents even today. “In the beginning we made everything on the farm. From feed hoppers to harvest equipment—it was all made to suit the way we did things. Sometimes things worked wonderfully and other times we outgrew our inventions like the seal fence that was literally a fence around our first pens at Hideaway,” said Peter. The ongoing gains achieved through the use of innovative technology has been one of the company’s highlights. “As a company, we have invested significantly in new technologies making some jobs more accessible to people of all genders and ages,” said Peter. For example, by developing a system by which to remotely feed all of our pens of fish, we have opened doors for a more diverse workplace. The automation vs. jobs argument does come up from time to time, but because we have such a wide range of roles, we haven’t shed jobs.

The Control Room enables a small team of employees to remotely feed all of the fish Huon farms from our corporate office in Hobart.

efficiently. Growing Huon into the verticallyintegrated business that it is today has significantly moved the goal posts and barriers to entry that there once was.

Huon’s current work force at December 2020 stands at 756 full time employees compared with 540 in the same month three years ago; a 40 per cent increase, so clearly the use of technology has not stood in the way of employing Tasmanians.

“The breadth of career possibilities has widened and with that the possible access points into aquaculture have deepened, which is something both Peter and I are immensely proud,” says Frances.

“Technology at Huon took a leap in 2012 with the introduction of remotely controlled net cleaners and underwater cameras in the pens. The introduction of the cameras allowed for the real-time monitoring of fish behaviours and feeding habits; all part of our ongoing commitment to fish welfare,” said Peter. This commitment to animal welfare carried through to Huon from the family cattle farming business. “Often farm work is hard and physical which means that aquaculture can be perceived as a brawn not brains industry, when we actually are both. The ever changing nature of our business is that we are continually looking for ways to do things better, more sustainably, more

Frances’ joy at being able to employ so many people, particularly in regional areas, is palpable.

– “Nearly 800 families have an income, and meaningful employment opportunities, because of Huon which brings me great delight and pride, because ultimately, people are our most important asset.” –

– The first 40 metre pens at Hideaway Bay with the family boat –

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Seven



For any farmer focused on constant improvement, recognition from other farmers is an important component of the journey and both Peter and Frances have received some prestigious gongs over their journey.

– Peter with one of his inventions –

In 2013, they were named Australian Biosecurity Farmers of the Year and in 2018, they were named Australian Farmer of the Year. This was also the year that Huon was proudly named Australia’s first RSPCA Approved salmon farm after a two-year assessment of Huon’s sites and procedures against the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme standards. In 2019, Huon opened their Whale Point salmon nursery which has already produced the biggest hatchery grown salmon in the Southern Hemisphere. “Our Whale Point nursery is an Australian first; a land-based facility that enables us to grow salmon larger on land before putting them to sea,” said Peter. By growing our salmon to a larger size on land, we improve the efficiency of our overall production cycle by reducing the time they spend at sea (from 14 months, to between 9-10 months). This allows us to better manage our existing leases at sea, enabling for longer fallow periods between stocking, separation of year classes— all of which delivers biosecurity and environmental benefits. In addition, fish are also more robust when transferred to sea. Of course, with any venture, farming or otherwise, there will also be lows.

– “The loss of a colleague through a workplace accident should never leave you,” said Frances. –

Huon has always maintained a focus on developing its workforce and building capability. Throughout last year, more than 10,000 hours of accredited and nonaccredited training was undertaken by employees, while currently 66 employees are actively undertaking traineeships in areas including aquaculture, engineering fabrication, seafood processing, and warehouse operations (as of December 2020).


– “This company, and indeed the salmon industry, employs incredibly clever people— a fact which can easily be overlooked or forgotten,” said Frances. –

“Nothing that anyone can throw at me can ever match the loss of these wonderful people to their loved ones, their friends and their colleagues.” Professionally, the biggest challenge for Frances was setting right the environmental damage done to Macquarie Harbour. “For many reasons I was the face and the voice of the Macquarie Harbour issue through the now infamous 4Corners program. For many years Huon worked behind closed doors trying to affect change

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Seven


but it seemed that no matter what we did or said, it was dismissed.”

that allowed by the regulator’s biomass determinations.

“The interview was an absolute marathon and went for over two hours with some incredibly probing lines of questioning as you can imagine. I reached a point where I realised that I could no longer stay behind closed doors quietly trying to change the industry, but needed to stand up for what we at Huon believe in and worked so hard to build from nothing. So much of what was recorded was not shown.”

“Notwithstanding that the court did not find in our favour, I still maintain the only action we could have taken was to raise our concerns in a court of law.”

This legacy of speaking up is what spurred Huon to take the unprecedented action of taking both Federal and State governments to court we were backing up our view that farmed biomass in the Harbour must be significantly below

When asked what is the next step for the salmon industry, the resounding answer from both was the importance of seeking out more sustainable farming practices coupled with continual transparent communications.

“We believe that the waterway can be sustainably farmed but it has to be done so with extreme caution and a willingness to back off the biomass if things take a turn,” said Frances.

– “Consumers are becoming increasingly interested in how the food they eat is being produced. This is great for us because we have the attitude that we should ‘put our money where our mouth is’ and openly and transparently communicate and share information about how we farm,” said Frances. –

– Frances with Heather Neil, then RSPCA CEO –

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Seven



– Fresh Huon Salmon –

population and a decline in wild fish stocks, and an enormous amount of ocean. The only way we can actually sustainably feed this growing population is through aquaculture. At the same time, we know we are stewards of the waterways we farm, so they can be enjoyed and farmed for generations to come.

Huon was the first agri-business in the world to have an online sustainably dashboard that publically discloses a range of information about farming operations including antibiotic use, water temperature, dissolved oxygen levels and even videos taken beneath pens.

– “As an industry, we are under a lot of scrutiny from the public but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing because we have a great story to tell and we are proud of the way we farm, and proud of the people who work across the company,” said Peter. –


– Huon's online sustainably dashboard – Peter and Frances are committed to the importance of continually striving to be world-leading. “We are constantly taking action to anticipate change. The way we are farming now is completely different to the way we were farming five years ago; for example, we are one of the first Atlantic Salmon companies in the world to go offshore, into deeper waters. The future landscape of aquaculture in Australia offers some very exciting opportunities. We have a growing world

Happy reading,

Peter and Frances Bender -----The Huon Story is proudly written, designed and printed in Tasmania. For more detail on specific milestones, go to our website and search for History – there’s some terrific gems of information about the Huon Aquaculture journey over the past three plus decades – Editor.

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Seven


Edition Seven

– Celebrating 35 years of Huon Aquaculture –

Sustainably and efficiently produce product

Provide the best quality of service possible


New Product Development 


Improving Freshwater Operations 9

Huon’s Busy Export Team


Making Recycling Easier 

Astounding Kelp Growth  At Storm Bay


The Big Freeze 


Striving to be leaders in our industry

A Drool Worthy Collaboration 20 Hello To Western Australia


Job Opportunities Abound  In Processing


Be a workforce that seeks excellence and innovation Sustainably Developing Our Oceans Through Research


CEO’s Innovation Challenge 


Turning Salmon Into Cherries


You Spin Me Right Round


Engaging With Our Community 28 Around Our Farms


Huon RSPCA Approved Salmon 13 Hits Coles And Woolworths Macquarie Harbour  Whale Rescue 


2,000 Organic Bales Later


COVER IMAGE: Hideaway Bay, the home of Huon Salmon through the decades

CONTACT: E: communications@huonaqua.com.au P: 03 6295 8111 Level 13/188 Collins St Hobart TAS 7000

huonaqua.com.au 7

Sustainably & efficiently produce product

Making Recycling Easier – A new line that features the ARL –

Recycling is an important thing to do but it isn’t always easy to understand—this is set to change with Huon’s customer-facing retail packaging now proudly featuring the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL). You may recognise the ARL: it’s typically on the back of packaging and clearly explains how to recycle or dispose of each separable component of the packaging item. Not only will the ARL help customers understand how to responsibly dispose of our packaging, they have already encouraged our suppliers to improve the sustainability credentials of the products that they supply to us. To determine which ARL applies and where, Huon’s Quality Assurance team use the Packaging Recyclability Evaluation Portal (PREP). PREP is an online platform that signatories of the Australian Packaging Covenant, Huon included, are able to use to assess the recyclability of their packaging via Australian and New Zealand kerbside collections. The process behind determining which ARL applies isn’t as straightforward as it may appear at first glance. PREP assesses the materials used, their weight, shape, size, as well as the inks and adhesives used. PREP also takes into account the collection for


packaging items and materials—e.g. how many Australian and New Zealand local councils have access to kerbside recycling for the packaging being assessed? Depending on the outcome of this assessment, each separable component of the packaging is assigned an Australasian Recycling Label logo.

– While it is all well and good to have a label on a packet, what counts is educating people how to properly read the labels and follow the instructions. –

This is why over the next two years, the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation is undertaking a National Consumer Education Campaign to build awareness of sustainable packaging, including the ARL. The campaign is funded by the Federal Government’s Environment Restoration Fund and aims to improve the general public’s awareness, understanding and behaviour around sustainable packaging, which will ultimately contribute to a consistent approach to consumer education on reducing, reusing and recycling packaging. Since its launch in 2018, over 450 companies have made the commitment to include the ARL on pack and as of November 2020, over 18,000 product lines. This impressive figure includes 10 Huon products with more to come.

– The Australian Recycling Label on pack –

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Seven

Sustainably & efficiently produce product

Improving Freshwater Operations – The water inflow at Huon’s Lonnavale Hatchery –

To continue to operate responsibly and remain at the forefront of our industry, we must continuously improve. Huon has carried this attitude for 35 years of operations and a strong example of this ethos is our Freshwater Improvement Programme (FIP).

The data collected will continue to ensure that Huon can readily identify where improvements could be made to further improve site discharge water quality. The FIP does not increase production at these facilities from their current maximum production levels and sampling results are provided monthly to the EPA Tasmania directly from the National Association of Testing Authorities approved laboratory conducting the analysis.

We fully understand the importance of establishing discharge and uniform site management conditions to ensure a sustainable salmonid industry. It would be an excellent outcome for Tasmania if this model was also adopted for all terrestrial farmers and water and sewerage utilities.

– Unprompted, as part of FIP, over the past two years we have installed improved waste capture capabilities at Bridport, Millybrook and Meadowbank hatcheries to reduce waste outputs further without increasing biomass and we are continually looking at where we might use new, developing technology to further improve waste and nutrient capture at each site. – Huon voluntarily releases highlights from the annual FIP reports online with the second update due in early 2021.

In early 2019, Huon voluntarily implemented a FIP for all our hatcheries and nursery sites. While there wasn’t empirical evidence of any environmental harm occurring downstream of our existing freshwater facilities, we did this because it presented an opportunity for proactive change. Huon’s freshwater operations are dotted across the state, and while some are relatively new, others have extended heritage value. The FIP enables all sites to be easily compared regardless of their respective technology. The FIP delivers uniformity of operational requirements across sites, but more importantly, places a cap on discharge limits and site biomass capacities to reduce the potential for any adverse environmental impacts.

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Seven

– Meadowbank’s water inflow –


Sustainably & efficiently produce product

– The giant kelp in Storm Bay –

Astounding Kelp Growth at Storm Bay It was a little over a year ago when Dr Cayne Layton and his colleagues at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) out-planted microscopic baby giant kelp onto grid lines in Huon’s Storm Bay leases. Today, the giant kelp is reaching towering heights with several plants measuring in at over ten metres long.


The IMAS study aims to identify warm-water tolerant strains of giant kelp which might be used in restoration, and are also trialling the cultivation of kelp in offshore conditions. Dr Layton is co-lead on the project and dived the lines late in 2020.

– “The longest kelp is beyond 10 metres which is pretty amazing. It might not be long until they break the surface,” said Dr Layton. –

“I can’t recall seeing such fast growth rates for giant kelp. It’s incredible to have seen that much growth in just the first year.” During his dive, Dr Layton also observed mussel growth along with some seahorses, all despite the rough conditions. “When you’re diving out there you don’t tend to notice the swell, but when we watch the footage back it is really noticeable.” Amazingly, the planted giant kelp survived some extreme conditions throughout the winter and spring storms, with 10 metre waves recorded at the site on several occasions. Dr Layton says that it’s incredible that the kelp and equipment were able to withstand those events.

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Seven

Sustainably & efficiently produce product

“It appears that in the big swells some of the kelps have wrapped around the grid line, but still extend nearly to the surface. The kelp is also in remarkably good shape and free from fouling.” Dr Layton will dive the site once more towards the end of summer at which the time kelp will be collected and removed. “There’s potential for kelp aquaculture to contribute to habitat restoration efforts, so perhaps the end of this study presents us with a good opportunity to explore.”

– “Generally, the bigger the kelp are, the hardier and happier they are once they’re planted. It would be nice to put some big plants out in our restoration sites because juvenile kelp benefit from the presence of adults. However, the planting of wild adults currently is difficult, because there are so few healthy populations left." – “Previous work we’ve done shows that adult kelp help the juveniles survive, because they provide shade and can stop sediment from reaching the seafloor, which helps the juveniles grow. More adult kelp potentially means better survival for the juveniles, which then grow into adults and so the cycle continues.” “Kelp aquaculture could be a real benefit and complement to restoration efforts,” said Dr Layton. The research is supported by the NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub, NRM South, Climate Foundation, Intrepid Foundation, and Huon Aquaculture. Huon is proud to have led the way for salmon farming in Storm Bay, and research into the benefits of farming kelp and salmon in close proximity is promising and has numerous potential applications for farming further offshore.

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Seven

– Dr Masa Tatsumi from IMAS alongside the giant kelp –


Sustainably & efficiently produce product

The Big Freeze What do you get when you combine sub-freezing temperatures and salmon milt? The next generation of genetically advanced production stock.

– The eyed-eggs at Lonnavale Hatchery –

In 2020, Huon’s freshwater operations began using cryopreserved milt (salmon semen) to fertilise the eggs that will become the smolt that will go to sea in September 2021. David Mitchell, Huon’s General Manager of Freshwater Operations said using genomic technology and cryopreservation together will enable an advance in Huon’s genetic gain, and all eyes will be on their performance to evaluate the results of this new technique.

– “This will further improve the fish growth, amoeba resistance, flesh quality robustness, and capability to perform well during periods of higher summer temperatures,” said David. – The first stock used by the Tasmanian salmon industry was imported from Canada in the 1980’s. This stock was genetically strong and formed the basis for the breeding program. “Now that the selective breeding program is using genomic technology it is possible to genetically select the very best of the best individual males displaying the desirable traits outlined above. Each male can produce enough milt to fertilise the eggs from 250 females so this milt can produce a lot of offspring.” Preservation allows Huon to use this topshelf milt to fertilise eggs from broodstock that now spawn both earlier and later in the year.


– Lonnavale Hatchery where the cryo-fertilized eggs are held –

“The normal spawning time in Tasmania is May but Huon now has stocks that spawn from February to August. Cryopreservation allows Huon to use high value milt from the best males across all spawning periods.” This advanced and delayed spawning ensures a steady supply of smolt ready for transfer to sea from March through to October. “In theory, using this milt will allow us to double the genetic gain we are realising each year for the main traits including increased performance through summer and amoeba resistance.” Around 2,500 of the 2021 fish will be kept in Huon’s Hideaway Bay trial pens, looked after by Adrian Steenholdt and his team, where their performance will be monitored and evaluated. “This population will serve to validate our predictions around the strong genetic gains. However, sometimes the population at sea will throw you something that you didn’t expect which is why monitoring their performance is an important step in the process,” said David.

While this new method has promise, David takes pause when asked if all of Huon’s future stock will be fertilised with cryopreserved milt? “We have been using non-preserved milt for a long time and have been getting good fertilisation rates. Fertilisation rates however, have been lower using the cryopreserved milt so the next step for us is to improve on this and finesse how we freeze and defrost the milt to ensure that we are getting the best results possible.” To do this, Huon hopes to have access to a leading cryopreservation technician from Canada in 2021. “Due to COVID-19, the specialist couldn’t get into Australia last year so we had to improvise and do things with remote advice and we also didn’t have access to some specialist equipment. Hopefully this year we will be able to get the specialist here and together we can work on putting strong processes in place to make the most of the preserved milt.” “Big thanks to the Freshwater Operations team who carried out the cryopreservation in freezing conditions in May 2020,” said David.

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Seven

Striving to be leaders within our industry

Huon RSPCA Approved Salmon hits Coles and Woolworths For the first time, Huon RSPCA Approved salmon is stocked in select Coles and Woolworths stores across Australia. Huon’s General Manager of Sales and Marketing, Callan Paske, said having the RSPCA Approved logo on selected products gives consumers peace of mind that Huon Salmon meet animal welfare standards that are second-to-none in the industry. “All farmers, land or sea-based, are responsible for raising animals with consideration of their needs as living, feeling beings and Huon is proud to meet the higher standards of the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme,” said Callan.

– Since joining in 2018, Huon remains the first and only seafood producer in Australia to be included in the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme. – In 2019, 18 assessments of Huon’s operations were conducted to ensure the RSPCA’s farmed Atlantic salmon standard were being upheld. The Coles range is comprised of four products, this includes flavoured options coated in a zesty lemon and herb crumb, and a marinade option featuring chilli,

– The frozen Woolworths line –

garlic and lime. The range is currently available across NSW. “Huon is proud to offer these new products to shoppers as they represent our values of exceptional quality, freshness and highwelfare standards.” The Woolworths line is available to purchase from the freezer nationwide— another first for Huon. We’ve come a long way in terms of educating consumers over the past three decades, but there’s always more work to be done. This is why we are proactive on social media and are constantly creating recipe content to educate consumers that there’s more than one way to cook salmon! “Whether frozen or fresh, Huon Salmon will always provide the same great flavour experience and health benefits,” said Callan. Available in 700 gram packs (skin-on), the new Huon Salmon frozen range is available in selected Woolworths supermarkets nationally. “We have also launched a frozen side (880 gram), seasoned with lemon pepper, enabling home cooks to experience restaurant-quality salmon dishes in the convenience of their homes,” said Callan. The new lines are produced in Huon’s Sydney Ingleburn processing facility. From here, they are dispatched across Australia.

– New Huon RSPCA Approved Salmon –

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Seven

For tips and tricks, including how to defrost frozen Huon Salmon, head to www.huonaqua.com.au


Striving to be leaders within our industry

– A pilot whale on deck –

Macquarie Harbour Whale Rescue Late September 2020, saw Australia’s worst mass whale stranding take place in and around Macquarie Harbour on Tasmania’s West Coast. Around 470 pilot whales beached themselves leading to a mammoth weeklong rescue effort headed up by Parks and Wildlife with support from trained volunteers, locals and aquaculture employees. Zone Manager, Linton Kringle along with his team played an instrumental role in the rescue.


– “My team helped out wherever we could. Mainly we rescued whales that were a lot further down the harbour as we could put them on the Spartan’s deck and travel at full speed through the heads,” said Linton. –

“I also went to nightly meetings with Parks and Wildlife and the other salmon companies to come up with a plan for what we would be doing the next day,” said Linton. It is not known why the beaching occurred, but it is suggested that their highly cohesive behaviour may be a contributing factor— when a group miss-navigates and gets into trouble, their strong social bonds may encourage other members of the pod to investigate and therefore end up in the same situation. Pilot whales beach themselves so prolifically in Tasmania that our state has a higher

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Seven

Striving to be leaders within our industry

level of training and specialised equipment available for response. With pilot whales weighing in at around 3 tonnes, moving them was no small feat and involved using heavy lifting equipment and teams of people to keep them wet and upright, so that they did not dry out or drown in the water.

– Pilot whales on mattresses –

– “For me the rescue was a good opportunity to see how fast the Strahan crew can come up with ideas and overcome new challenges, as well as see firsthand how important local knowledge of the harbour is,” said Linton. – A good example of a solution to moving the whales safely was to place each one on a mattress on deck—thanks to Sam Gerrity for this ingenious idea. Over 100 whales were rescued and returned to deeper waters where it’s hoped they will reform a pod and recover from their experience.

– “I would like to thank all of the crew from Strahan plus a number of South East-based crew for their help with the rescue, especially the guys who kept the farm running which allowed us to help,” said Linton. – Linton encourages anyone who would like to assist in the event of a future stranding to contact Parks and Wildlife to complete the relevant training.

– Whales on the Spartan –

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Seven


Striving to be leaders within our industry

– Nick Haddow and Frances Bender –

– The silage being cut –

2,000 Organic Bales Later The 2000th bale of organic silage has been ceremoniously cut at our Forest Home farmland and will be fed to Bruny Island Cheese’ rarebreed cows later this season. Frances Bender, Huon Aquaculture's Co-Founder, said it is hard to believe that 2000 bales have come from the relatively small farmland in just a few short years.

– “The organic grass is the definition of lush, which is exactly what we were hoping to achieve by irrigating the hatchery wastewater onto the pasture,” said Frances. – Silage is a type of fodder made from green foliage crops which have been preserved by acidification, achieved through fermentation. It can be fed to cattle, sheep and other cud-chewing animals. Wastewater from Huon’s nearby Forest Home hatchery is captured, filtered and


disinfected before re-use in the facility and the same process is repeated before it is used for irrigation. “This is just one example of how we are reducing the impact of our freshwater operations while forging positive relationships with our neighbouring farmers,” said Frances. Frances is excited by the technological leaps and bounds the Freshwater team has achieved over the years. In addition to fodder production, yearlings and dry cows are run on the farmland. Nick Haddow, Owner and CEO of Bruny Island Cheese, said the silage cut in November will be fed to the milking cows later in the season, as grass quality and growth rates drop away. “This will allow us to maintain milk yield and quality within our milking herd throughout the season without having to rely on bought in grain or fodder at the same time helping protect grass covers on the milking platform,” said Nick. The cows are currently producing on average 25 litres per cow per day through once a day milking, with butterfat levels as high as 4.8 per cent and protein of 3.4 per cent—all great news for producing awesome cheese.

“By timing our silaging we ensure that we cut the grass when the sugar, energy and protein levels are at their highest in turn driving milk quality and production when it becomes time to feed to our milking cows,” said Nick. Adam Chapman, Huon’s Freshwater Environment Manager, said cutting the silage bales prevents the nutrients from building up.

– “Cutting the grass means that the nutrients from the hatchery wastewater leave the property in bales which prevents build-up in the soil. This process helps to maintain a healthy balance in the soil which is a great achievement,” said Adam. – Due to the organic status of the farmland, only organic farming principles can be employed on the property.

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Seven

Provide best quality of service possible

New Product Development With a background of working in fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) in Australia and overseas, Alexander Hunnisett, Huon’s National Business Manager of Retail has ambitious plans to help grow Huon’s brand exposure and sales in local retail.

– Alex Hunnisett –

“I joined Huon in October 2019 and have experience working in a variety of roles across a wide range of categories from food and refreshment to personal care, homecare and even medicinal. My love of Retail started back in my University days when I landed a job working in my local Woolworths store. It was good fun and it set me on my FMCG path,” said Alex. In his role at Huon, Alex leads the retail team to drive consumption of Huon Salmon and Ocean Trout. “Huon has perhaps historically been underrepresented in the big retailers and our recent experience during COVID highlighted how important it is to have a wide and diverse mix of sales channels.” “My role is to partner with retailers to market and drive the Huon brand across all product lines, not just value-added and fresh—where Huon is already strongly represented.”

– The new frozen Huon Salmon to Go line –

To do this, Alex along with his team and colleagues in Sales and Marketing, spends time developing new product lines that are enticing to shoppers and also support our retailer partner’s strategy. “We look at how we can partner with retailers to drive the Huon brand in store. This involves considering things such as what is the current salmon or trout offering? How can Huon bring a point of difference to the table? And a pricing and marketing strategy to drive sales.” This underpins the creation of new product lines that meet both the needs of Huon, and retailers. A good example of this is the new flavoured fresh pre-packed lines in Coles and the frozen Salmon to Go range in Woolworths.

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Seven

– “Huon hasn’t done much in the frozen space so developing these new lines presented an opportunity to break into the frozen seafood category.” – “We chose frozen because it ticked all of our boxes and the majority of salmon sold in this category was imported. We know that people want to buy local which drives supermarkets to stock local. It is a win-winwin for everyone involved.” The frozen line is branded under the Huon Salmon To Go range and features a whole, frozen pre-seasoned side which is aimed at summer entertaining. “The whole side is a little bit different and I’m happy to report that it is performing very well so far.” In addition to Huon branded products, Alex also gives attention to supplying private label lines. “Private label lines are still an important part of our sales channel mix. Many customers are buying Huon Salmon without even realising it!” A major retailer has also recently launched a private label line of salmon kebabs which Alex is excited about. “The kebab marks the first time that salmon or seafood, has stepped out from behind the seafood deli to be displayed alongside beef, chicken and pork kebabs.” “I think this will get some customers to step towards salmon which is exactly what we are hoping to achieve.” Regardless of whether it is Huon-branded or private label, Alex’s reaction to seeing new products on shelf is the same. “It is the best experience. There is so much work and so many teams involved in the process of getting out a new product—the first time you see it on the shelf it makes it all worthwhile,” said Alex.


Provide best quality of service possible

– Rob Mann and Rod Shelley –

Huon’s Busy Export Team It is no secret that people love Huon Salmon both in Australia and further abroad. This love of Huon products is what keeps our Export team busy at all hours, talking to eager customers in various time zones around the world. The team is Rob Mann, Huon’s Export Manager and Rod Shelley, Business Development Manager. Together, they work with significant support from Customer Service and Operations to move Huon products across the globe. “We’ve always sought to strike a balance between meeting the domestic demand and that of the export market,” said Rob. “As a proudly Australian company, we can often lose track of how important our overseas markets are and what a vital piece of Huon’s long term strategy they play. It is important that we look at our Australian sales channels, but equally so that we look strategically at each of our overseas markets,” said Rob. In 2012, Huon was named as the Tasmanian Exporter of the Year in recognition for their dedication and commitment to building greater relationships with overseas markets.


Meeting this demand meant ‘moving mountains’ during 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic saw flights and freight stop virtually overnight. Some 12 months into the global pandemic and there is still no ‘normal day’.

– “We couldn’t do our jobs without the support of the Customer Service and Operations team. We all have to be across a lot of information that changes rapidly,” said Rob. – “It’s certainly not a 9 to 5 job. At 6.00am one morning I was talking to a customer in the US, then at 9pm that evening I was speaking with a client in Austria. That’s the nature of international time zones—you can be talking with people at all hours of the day and night,” said Rod. “We also have to plan around cultural and local holidays across our various markets, as this can have significant impacts on demand. Understanding of cultural differences in business and trading are also a key aspect of client management.

What might seem like a small thing, may actually be of critical importance for our valued customers and we know that they appreciate our efforts,” said Rod. Huon has always respected and understood the importance of transparent, accountable relationships with stakeholders and the pandemic has only served to highlight the value of such an investment. The team uses a variety of social media apps including WeChat, Skype, Whatsapp, and LINE to meet the communication preferences of international customers—sometimes in other languages! “Each country and customer has their preferred method of communication and we do our best to meet their needs. Recently we placed translated marketing adverts in our main export markets—all of which helps us support our overseas customers,” said Rob. The advert overleaf has also been translated into Japanese, Chinese and Korean with all four versions notably being used by an American customer. “Thanks to our Marketing team for designing these posters to meet the needs of our customers. It is the small things that make people feel valued and this combined with the quality of our product, keeps them coming back,” said Rob.

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Seven

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A Chinese language advert

Huon Salmon in Japan. Image thanks to Blue Link

Exporting Huon To The World Japan: Huon was proud to partner with long standing, major trading partner, Blue Link, at the recent Japan International Seafood Show. In its 22nd year of operation, this three-day event was varied to accommodate social distancing rules but still attracted more than 35,000 visitors. Huon and Blue Link were one of 800+ exhibitors, and our joint presence provided an opportunity to show how we continue to maintain stable supply to our important Japanese customers. Japan was the first country that imported Tasmanian salmon and they remain an important customer for Huon.

Thailand: Huon Salmon was pride of place in more than 100 supermarkets across Thailand recently, when one of our major overseas trading partners, CP Makro, held an in-store food expo. CP Makro is an international brand of warehouse clubs and in Thailand has a registered customer base of 2.6 million. The Australian Ambassador to Thailand Allan McKinnon opened the ‘Taste of Australia’ campaign and gave a how-to guide on cooking ‘Aussie Somtum’ but with Tasmanian salmon or Australian beef (Somtum is a popular Thai dish usually made with green papaya, sticky rice and chosen protein).

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Seven

– At the 2020 Japan International Seafood Show Image thanks to Blue Link


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– Luke and Forager Manager Tony Wright

– Monty sniffing out a tasty treat –

Image thanks to Paul Scambler

A Drool Worthy Collaboration Across the decades, countless Huon pets (including the Bender’s own precious pups) have been eating delicious Huon Salmon and reaping the benefits of a diet high in Omega-3 and 6. The secret is now out of the bag and Huon’s new Omega Treats range is bringing this goodness to the masses. Omega Treats includes three new products in a variety of sizes that are suitable for pets big and small. And as an added bonus, the line is a collaboration between Huon Aquaculture and Forager Food Co., a Northern Tasmanian business that specialises in freeze-drying and food preservation. Huon’s Tasmanian Business Manager, Luke Cavanagh, said collaborating with Forager for this project made sense. “We wanted to create a range of sustainable pet treats that were healthy and practical for pet owners and collaborating with Forager has allowed us to utilise their cutting-edge freeze-drying technologies to create a premium product,” said Luke. “Freeze-drying makes food shelf-stable, eliminating the need for refrigeration or preservatives, which means Omega Treats


are long-lasting and contain only one ingredient: salmon!” Director of Forager Food Co., John Ranicar, said Forager was a family-run business with deep ties to agriculture and aquaculture in Tasmania. “We have a rich family heritage of farming and food production and we are thrilled to be working with a fellow Tasmanian business to create a sustainable and premium product,” said John. On their family property in Northern Tasmania, John and Sophie Ranicar have built a world-class freeze-drying facility with state-of-the-art equipment.

– “We believe that food is a precious resource and it’s great that Huon Aquaculture have found a way to reduce waste while creating a premium pet food product that ticks all the boxes.” – They process, dry and package a diverse range of foods providing long shelf life whilst protecting the most valuable and delicate ingredients including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, colours and flavours.

– “Projects such as Omega Treats are a perfect example of what can be achieved in Tasmania when you utilise existing resources and collaborate ideas,” said John. – Not only are Omega Treats sustainable and Tasmanian made, they are healthy, and according to our four-legged tastetesters, delicious! “Omega Treats are beneficial for pets due to salmon’s healthy fats and Omega-3 content, and following a sample trial, we have reassurance that pets—both cats and dogs—absolutely love them too,” said Luke. “The treats are also good for fussy pets and those who have allergies to overly processed foods,” said Luke. “Pet owners who already incorporate salmon into their pet’s diet will know the health benefits of the superfood – you only have to look at your pet’s shiny coat to know it’s good for them!” Omega Treats are now available in a Hill Street Grocer or Animal Tuckerbox near you.

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Seven

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Hello to Western Australia Huon’s new value-added processing facility in Forrestdale, Western Australia has flung open its doors and is creating value-added Huon products for local customers. Huon now has a processing footprint in three states which is a testament to the importance of vertical integration—a model which Peter and Frances wholeheartedly adopted after ceasing contract growing fish in 2005. Forrestdale sees Huon transporting fresh Huon Salmon and Huon Ocean Trout from Tasmania directly to Perth where it is value-added for the Western Australian retail market.

– “Value-added products are now available up to three days earlier than before Forrestdale opened,” said Julie Gillies, Huon’s National Processing Manager. –

– Zoheb, Claire and Triston outside Forrestdale –

supplying consumers with delicious and easy-to-cook Tasmanian Huon Salmon and Ocean Trout,” said Julie.

This extends the product shelf life which benefits both retailers and customers.

A value-added product is fresh fish that has been further processed to include a special feature such as a marinade, spice or sauce. These products are generally made and packaged for specific retail contracts.

“Our customers asked for fresher fish with a longer shelf-life and Huon was happy to deliver. Our new facility is already

“The site also provides easy access to airfreight which opens up a world of export opportunities.”

– The new Forrestdale facility –

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Seven

The Forrestdale site is 2,090m2 and has been fitted out with specialised equipment similar to that which Huon uses in its Sydney value-added processing facility.

– “Forrestdale has created 25 local jobs and we expect that there will be a flowon effect for the wider community as we begin to engage local suppliers and contractors for maintenance, freight and so on,” said Julie. – Huon’s long-term plan is to install a second processing line in the facility which will allow for multiple species to be processed using state-of-the-art equipment. This will provide another steppingstone towards farming Yellowtail Kingfish in the state.


Provide best quality of service possible

Job Opportunities Abound in Processing – Harley and Maddi at Parramatta Creek –

With Huon processing record tonnage, 30 labour hire employees have made the jump across to full-time permanent contracts. Julie Gillies, Huon’s National Processing Manager, said there’s opportunities for both full-time and labour hire employees in processing. “We’re really happy to be able to bring across 30 of our labour hire employees to Huon’s books,” said Julie. These new employees have generally been with Huon for 3-9 months on labour hire contracts.

– “We try to create opportunities for people that are hardworking and have a can-do attitude, so recruiting labour hires is a great way to make sure that they’re a good fit for Huon and work well with the team,” said Julie. – Harley Brown, one of the new hires, was impacted by the border closures.


“My previous place of employment was all but shut down when border restrictions began. My labour hire company informed me of positions available at Huon so I jumped at the chance,” said Harley. Harley works in the smokehouse preparing hot and cold smoked products. “Job security is so important these days. Having steady employment has enabled me to purchase my unit and I’ll hopefully build a new home later in the year. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to work with such a successful business,” said Harley “My role has a lot of responsibility and it's always great to see how everyone's work comes together to produce the final result,” said Harley. Maddi Lawler has also come aboard at Huon after three years working as labour hire. “I had been offered a full time role previously, but appreciatively declined as I had ambitions to study. I accepted the latest offer to go full time as I was being trained to further assist in daily tasks as Team Leader,” said Maddi. Maddi is the acting Team Leader of valueadded (hot and cold smoked salmon and trout) dispatch. “The company has made my efforts feel very appreciated and valued. I feel that as a company being able to offer full time employment to people while the world is going through what it is, says a lot about

– Parramatta Creek processing facility –

their success, drive and commitment to positive impacts, being on a personal and a global scale,” said Maddi. “Personally this full time employment opportunity has provided a definite feeling of stability and appreciation,” said Maddi.

Parramatta Creek Fast Fasts • In 2009, Huon purchased land at Parramatta Creek, near Devonport, with the intention of creating a smokehouse and product innovation centre. This facility would become unique by global standards as it’s one of the few commercial facilities that has a whole fresh fish coming in one end and a smoked packaged product coming out the other. • In 2015, Parramatta Creek officially opened for production. • All of the fish that Huon farms is processed at Parramatta Creek before being dispatched to market. Parramatta Creek also sends fresh Huon Salmon and Ocean Trout to the Ingleburn (Sydney) and Forrestdale (Western Australia) processing facilities to be value-added for retail contacts. • Parramatta Creek also houses our Product Innovation centre where new product lines are created and tested.

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Seven

Be a workforce that seeks excellence and innovation

Sustainably Developing our Oceans Through Research The Ocean makes up 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface and is abound with potential, but to harness it safely and sustainably, research is needed. This is why the Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre (BE CRC) was established and it brings together 40 partners from across nine countries to create an unparalleled pool of expert knowledge. As a pioneer of offshore farming, Huon Aquaculture is a proud contributor to this group. Matthew Whittle, Huon’s Environmental Compliance and Development Manager is running lead for Huon on several research projects. “With the world’s population growing and placing pressure on existing wildcatch fisheries, aquaculture will play an ever increasing role in feeding the world. Importantly, to further expand offshore, more research and scoping is needed to do this safely and sustainably,” said Matthew.

– Scoping offshore aquaculture is a key research goal –

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Seven

Huon is a partner in numerous projects, with involvement to date being largely focused on contributing expertise and knowledge to a range of scoping studies. These have included studies investigating biofouling; fish pen design, offshore energy demand and environmental modelling.

– Managing wildlife interactions is an ongoing task –

“These projects will help map out the pathway and future challenges that will need to be overcome by all stakeholders.” As the BE CRC progresses, Huon will continue to be involved with a focus on projects that will deliver benefits to our current operations. A key focus will be placed on offshore engineering with improvements to moorings, pens and nets all being investigated.

– “We will also continue to advance the use of technology in aquaculture with one project aiming to develop recognition technology to mitigate impacts of marine wildlife such as jellyfish.” –

“In the past, jellyfish have posed challenges to our operations and we hope that this can be overcome through participating in this collaborative research,” said Matthew. The BE CRC will run for 10 years, therefore researchers have been asked to think creatively when envisaging what the aquaculture and offshore renewable energy industries may look like in 2030, and beyond. “Ten years ago, I don’t think anyone would have imagined how quickly the Tasmanian salmon industry would advance. In 2010, the use of a 116m long wellboat for bathing and the remote feeding of over 8 million fish from a feed centre in Hobart would have been beyond the imagination of most people.”

– “Therefore, it is very exciting to be participating in research today that will underpin the next revolution in offshore aquaculture,” said Matthew. – Find out more about the Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre here https://blueeconomycrc.com.au/


Be a workforce that seeks excellence and innovation

CEO’s Innovation Challenge Innovation is integral to Huon—it has always been a part of the fabric of the company and it will play an important role in shaping Huon’s future. A key motivation behind the creation of Huon’s Innovation Program was to find new ways to engage our workforce to get them thinking about how they can contribute towards positive change.

– In late 2020, the first CEO’s Challenge was issued to employees across the company. The premise behind the challenge was to identify four big areas where there was opportunity for advancement and to throw these ideas out to over 700 bright minds. –


The challenges were; to reduce the cost and quantity of waste disposed from hatcheries, reduce observed dorsal damage in individual pre-smolt, reduce the amount of birds getting into our Fortress Pens, and improving the fendering for pens to stop nets chaffing. Some 25 submissions were received in response to the Challenge. Importantly, ideas came from divisions across the business which demonstrates the value in thinking outside the box and seeing a problem with fresh eyes.

– Congratulations to Darryl Boothey, Rob Churchill, Lindsay Pettit, Jasmine Knowles, and David Churches. – The next step for the Innovation Team is to pitch the ideas to the General Managers for budget allocation and potential implementation. Thank you to everyone who took the time to submit their ideas. Another CEO’s Challenge will be issued in 2021.

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Seven

Be a workforce that seeks excellence and innovation

Turning Salmon into Cherries A side effect of having a seriously advanced waste capture system at out Whale Point salmon nursery is needing to find a sustainable way to use this nutritionallyrich product.

– Salmon by-product at Whale Point and Nic’s cherry trees –

This is how our partnership with Nic Hansen at Cherries Tasmania has come about. Nic takes the by-product and adds it to his special compost which is made at their Old Beach farm. Frances Bender, Huon Aquaculture’s Co-Founder, was delighted to see the by-product from Huon’s Whale Point Salmon Nursery put to good use.

– “There’s a whole range of fish-based fertilisers and composts out there and any good gardener or farmer knows they are absolutely fantastic to build up the microbiome of the soil.” – In the early 80’s, Peter and Frances were orchardists so the partnership with Cherries

Tasmania is a natural fit that benefits both parties. Our partnership with Cherries Tasmania is so simple – they take our fish by-product, which looks a little bit like brown putty, add it to their house-made compost, with a touch of locally-sourced council green waste from Barwicks,” said Frances. The fish waste is filtered out by Whale Point’s state-of-the-art water treatment system then collected and trucked to the Old Beach orchard. Nic Hansen, owner of Cherries Tasmania said getting to the first big spread of compost has been a journey.

– “It has been a big journey and we have made a significant investment including custombuilt infrastructure, tanks and trucks. We are looking to the future and see this as a 20-year investment into the orchard,” said Nic. – Nic has undertaken small-scale trial compost spreads and has found that adding the salmon waste to the compost has meant an almost exponential improvement in biological diversity. “We run a closed-loop compost system. Anything that is still too large after the first compost screening, goes straight back on for another few months.” Mrs Bender said the partnership with Cherries Tasmania is ideal. Nic said his compost system was fungibased which sees the rows of compost naturally reaching 70 degrees Celsius +/- . This heat cooks the rows which kills off bad bacteria and breaks down the compost.

– Frances with Nic spreading compost –

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Seven

“I think we can slow the decline of our soils and the best way to move forward is to improve the soil biology so that my son inherits an orchard that has extremely healthy soils,” finished Nic.


Be a workforce that seeks excellence and innovation

– Drysdale’s feed spinners and Rowfit’s spinners –

You Spin Me Right Round Good fish growth depends on access to high-quality fish feed which is why spreading feed evenly across an entire pen is so important.

“The new spinners had to meet several criteria including having higher revolutions per minute, be able to evenly spread feed, cope with the on-water conditions and run on compressed air. In addition, the feed pellets had to remain whole during this process,” said Graham.

Graham Clarke, Huon’s Feed Manager said that after many years of using water-propelled feed spinners, Huon is in the process of transitioning to air-propelled spinners.

John Drysdale has been designing and making equipment for the aquaculture industry since it began some 35 years ago and has made many special orders for Huon during this time.

– “We approached Drysdale Engineering and Rowfit International to make the new spinners. Both companies are local to the Huon Valley and have worked with Huon for some time manufacturing specialised equipment,” said Graham. –

“I have worked with Peter Bender over the years to fabricate new equipment and it is important to be adaptable and work to solutions” said John.

Drysdale Engineering specialise in aquaculture equipment and metal fabrication, while Rowfit International cut their teeth on designing and manufacturing rowing equipment before branching out into other areas.

Through their online presence, Drysdale has connected with salmon famers outside of Australia.


Drysdale’s spinners are made from stainless steel and can handle the exposure of constant wind and saltwater, as well as the centrifugal force of air-propelled fish feed. “We’ve made almost 50 spinners in two sizes and have adapted the original design to stop the bases from breaking. The bases are now solid pipe which is shaped on a lathe. So far this is working well and the spinners are much stronger,” he said.

“We have connected with salmon farmers all over the world and have sent feed

spinners out as far field as Scotland and New Zealand,” said John. John Driessen of Rowfit International is an Engineer by trade and approaches manufacturing equipment through this lens. “When things don’t work I find ways to make them better. This started with rowing equipment and as we began employing more people we were able to diversify into special projects such as Huon’s feed spinners,” said John. Rowfit’s new feed spinners are unique in that they have two heads instead of the usual one. “We were having issues with balancing the single-headed spinners so we took a chance and made the first dual-headed prototype. We did this on a ‘if you like it, you buy it’ basis and fortunately it has been very successful.”

– “This design is unique to us and no other salmon farmers anywhere else in the world are using dual-heads,” said John. –

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Seven

Be a workforce that seeks excellence and innovation

Rowfit has been working on feed spinner designs for many years. In John’s words they have a ‘feed spinner graveyard out the back’. This area houses several different designs which are significantly larger and heavier than the new spinners.

– “The new spinners are lighter and a dream to install on water. They also spin much faster than the old ones and are purely driven by air,” finished John. –

– John Drysdale with his feed spinners –

Transitioning away from water-driven spinners has several benefits for Huon including allowing for the removal of a significant amount of on-water pipe.

– “We have installed the Drysdale spinners in Storm Bay, and the Rowfit ones in the Huon and Channel. It is good to have two suppliers because they have come up with two very different solutions to the same problem,” said Graham. –

– One of Rowfit’s previous designs –

“The new spinners also mean a significant reduction in on-water pipe which decreases the potential for it to become marine debris,” said Graham. Around 12kms of pipe has been removed from both of the Storm Bay leases so far.

– John Driessen of Rowfit International –

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Seven


Be a workforce that seeks excellence and innovation

Engaging with Our Community Macquarie Harbour Marine Debris Clean-Up Hobart joined Strahan Zone Manager Linton Kringle and colleague Sam Gerrity, working their way around half a dozen locations removing nearly two cubic metres of debris. The material removed was a mix of fish farming equipment, domestic and industrial waste. Notably, a large number of adults and kid’s shoes were retrieved along with a vintage radio.

With a long history of salmon farming and many hidden bays and tributaries, Macquarie Harbour is regularly monitored for any type of debris, fish farm or domestic related. In the latter part of 2020, a team from Hobart made the journey to join the West Coast crew for a targeted clean-up.

During their rounds, the team also came across abundant wildlife including dolphins, sea eagles, a Tassie devil and a few tiger snakes!

Over three days, both the Compliance and Community Relations teams from

Tails Wagging At Community Pet Treat Launch There’s no better way to introduce a new product to community and respond to their questions than having a good old-fashioned booth at a community event.

The feedback received throughout the day was overwhelmingly positive, with punters particularly interested in the sustainability aspect of Huon’s farming operations. In response to the success of the event, the treats are now available to purchase at Huon’s Hideaway Bay farm gate shop.

Omega Treats were launched at the Lindisfarne Dog’s Day out and Huon reps were in attendance along with their pooches to engage with community.

– A happy customer –

Huon Valley Parents Matters Q&A Session Finishing year 10 and deciding what is next is a big life decision for teenagers. Be it further study, starting a trade or going into the workforce, there are always tricky questions to consider. This is why the Huon Valley Parents Matters hosted a Q&A session for the parents and carers of high school leavers to debunk some myths and provide meaningful advice.


Huon’s Community Relations Manager, Pene Snashall was on hand to provide insights into pathways in aquaculture.

– “The students are on the precipice of making a big life decision and their parents and carers provide vital support and guidance during this process” said Pene. –

“My daughter just finished her formal education so it was lovely to be able to play a part in the beginning of this journey for others.” Huonville High has a Year 11/12 extension program and the Huon Valley Trade Training Centre was built in 2012 at a cost of $6 million.

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Seven

Be a workforce that seeks excellence and innovation

Engaging With The Yachtie Fraternity The safe coordination of racing, recreation and commercial operations have co-existed on the waterways in which we farm for decades and Huon continues to work with interested stakeholders to ensure safe, shared use of the waterways. Well known local sea-dog, our Quality Systems Manager, Dave Wood, recently met with the Huon Yacht Club to talk about on-water rules of engagement for all parties with a particular focus on our wellboats.

One topic of much discussion was the (misguided) but common assumption that power gives way to sail. An important outcome of the meeting was the development of a primary contact/ incident escalation chart which will ensure yacht club members and Huon Aquaculture can be quickly communicated with, regardless of the incident or the time of day.

– Huon Yacht Club –

The Club, based at Shipwrights Point, was formed in 1947 and overlooks our Port Huon wharf. The historical importance of the Huon River and D’Entrecasteaux Channel is equally valuable to us and we look forward to continuing to jointly and safely share these beautiful waterways with our sailing colleagues.

Millybrook Hatchery Tour While our Millybrook freshwater site might be tucked away near Mathinna in Tasmania’s north east, locals are still eager to find out about its operations. The Scamander Probus Club recently visited after satisfying our COVID controls and the day was a huge success. The group of 35 were met by Hatchery Manager, Matt Collins, and Community Relations Adviser, Chali Meerwald, aboard the Probus bus, where the tour began with a site and biosecurity induction which included a demonstration of Huon’s customised truck washdown station.

material detailing Huon’s fish health and welfare and a suite of recipe cards.

Facts about Millybrook • The species of fish grown is Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykis) with the site receiving fry, fingerlings and parr from Springfield and at times, the Bridport Hatchery. • In addition to Huon’s commercial farming of trout, a contract with Inland Fisheries Service (IFS) sees the site provide an annual production of 15,000 trout to enable the IFS to stock the species in a number of public inlets and waterways throughout Tasmania. • The site is primarily a traditional flow through aquaculture facility, where upstream water is drawn directly from

the South Esk River. The water flows through six grow-out tanks and eight earth raceways before entering a large landscaped settlement pond “wetlands” before being returned into the river. Established flora and fauna in the settlement ponds effectively remove particulates and nutrients in the water before it leaves the farm. To mitigate against drought conditions during summer, a recirculation system has been installed to ensure a continuous water supply. • The site has an ‘A Rating’ for downstream invertebrate communities, which means that there is no change to the river’s macroinvertebrate ecology downstream from the hatchery. • There is also an estimate of 20 resident platypus in the settlement dam located on-site.

The site is established to grow juvenile trout (sent from other NE hatcheries) and grown to a size approx. 400-500g suitable for transfer out to sea at our marine farm in Macquarie Harbour. The Probus Club were particularly fascinated with how the species converts from freshwater Rainbow Trout to Ocean Trout, and excited to see some of the hatchery’s larger sized trout swimming in a grow out tank. They were fortunate to spot a local platypus and sea eagle at the farm and left with an information pack filled with

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Seven

– Matt Collins, Hatchery Manager, with the tour group –


Around Our Farms

– Margate Marina by Adam Jones –

– A community group touring Millybrook hatchery –


– A rescued Little Penguin. Image thanks to the Hideaway Bay Wildlife Team

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Seven

onaqua.com.au communications@hu

To have your image included in the next edition’s Around The Farm email: communications@huonaqua.com.au

– Broodstock at Bagdad. These fish are anaesthetised –

– Macquarie Harbour on a calm day –

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Seven



Profile for Huon Aquaculture

The Huon Story - Edition 7  

Huon Aquaculture's quarterly magazine The Huon Story, showcases what is happening across the company.

The Huon Story - Edition 7  

Huon Aquaculture's quarterly magazine The Huon Story, showcases what is happening across the company.

Profile for huonaqua

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